WBRi Movie Review: Pappu Can’t Dance Sala (2011) - Jiggles a Bit Though

Still from Haia Haia Song From Pappu Can't Dance Saala (2012) Hindi Film
British-Indian Actress Neha Dhupia in a still from the Song "Haiya Haiya" (source: Facebook Page)

Calcutta December 17, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations) The first thing you would ask on watching Pappu Can’t Dance Saala, is who on earth is this Pappu?

Well there isn’t one. He is meant to be a conceptual representation of the typical rural clown who is stuck in the middle of nowhere with his average skills in every walk of life. This movie revolves on a slightly age old concept of people from opposite ends of cultural and mental composition coming together in a so called city of dreams – Mumbai.

PCDS (Pappu Can't Dance Saala) 2012 Indian Bollywood Hindi Movie Trailer

Vidyadhar Acharya (Vinay Pathak) is a small town boy from Benares, working a private job and living as an illegal tenant at a housing complex. Regular raids ensure he spends more time hiding than actually living in his flat. Hilarity is intended when his opposite in more ways than one moves in next door. Mehek Malvade (Neha Dhupia), a backup dancer, dreaming of making it big in the industry – as a serious actor. Her open minded city values and party habits are comparatively outlandish for a rural minded lad. Well, that goes without saying.

Obvious friction between Mehek and Vidyadhar is backed up by Mehek’s troubles with the rest of the neighbours as well. However, one particular raid gets Mehek evicted while Vidyadhar is at work. His joy at the exit of his nemesis is short lived as Mehek has already broken in to his flat and declares she will live there until she gets hers back. No chances of notifying the cops to remedy the situation as that would get them both kicked out.

Now these two opposites have to live under the same roof and friction slowly turns to friendship. Then comes what you would, in Bollywood, call a defining point in the story. Another raid makes them spend hours hiding together. This results in an emotional bonding probably leading to clichéd concepts of friends first, lovers next – or something to that effect.

Mehek gets a break and sings on for the lead dancer in a music video. Her vulnerabilities about her family not accepting her apparently shameful vocation are revealed to Vidyadhar, who tries to fix it but ends up worsening matters. That leads to a fight, they go their separate ways, but the emotional bonding tries to pull them back.

Pathak doesn’t make a mockery of playing the confused and culture shocked small town guy but it’s getting a bit old now perhaps. Dhupia’s portrayal of the glamour motivated girl isn’t stretched beyond believability either. But what pulls down this otherwise fairly good watch is the lack of a central theme to the film.

What starts as a clash of contrasts, turns in to a mini biopic of a struggling actress, on to constricting Indian family values, and finally on to how love and understanding (whatever the final relationship maybe) has a chance to conquer everything else. If you are not a stickler for a film that focuses its lasers on one particular concept, then there should not be anything else preventing you from liking the film.

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